We sat down with Dekko star Dan Chapman to get an insight into how he got involved with Ubuntu and his excitement for the release of the Pocket Desktop.
Dan has been an active member of the Community since 2013, where he has worked closely with our Design Team to create one of our first convergent showcase apps: Dekko. He also helps out with the Ubuntu QA community with package testing and automated tests for the ubuntu-autopilot-tests project.
The Dekko app is an email client that we are currently developing to work across all devices: mobile, tablet and desktop. If you are interested in contributing to Dekko, whether that be writing code, testing, documentation, translations or have some super cool ideas you would just like to discuss. Then please do get in touch, all contributions are welcomed!
Early Dekko exploration
What inspired you to contribute?
I first got involved with the Community in 2013, where Nicholas Skaggs introduced me to the Quality Team to write test cases for automated testing for the Platform. I can’t remember why I started exactly, but I saw it as an opportunity to improve it. Ever since then it’s been a well worth it experience.
What is it about open source that you like?
I like the fact that in the Community everyone has a common goal to build something great.
How does it fit into your lifestyle?
I study from home at the moment so I have to divide my time between my family, Ubuntu and my studies.
What I do for Ubuntu and my course are quite closely tied. The stuff I do for Ubuntu is giving me real life practical skills that I can relate to my course, which is mainly theory based.
Have you made your work with the Ubuntu Community an integral part of your studies as well?
I’m actually doing a project at the moment that is to do with my work on Dekko, but it’s for interacting with an exchange server and implementing a client side library. Hopefully when that’s done I can bring it into Dekko on a later date. I try to keep my interests parallel.
How much time does it take you to develop an app?
Quite a large proportion of my time goes towards Ubuntu.
How is it working remotely?
I find it more than effective. I mean it would be great to meet people face-to-face too.
What are you most excited about?
Being able to have a full-blown computer in my pocket. As soon as it’s available i’m having the pocket desktop.
Do you use your Ubuntu phone as your main device?
I do yes. The rest of the family do too. I even got my eldest boy, who’s 9 to use it, as well as my partner and mother-in-law.
How is it working with the Ubuntu Design Team?
It’s been great actually because i’m useless at design. There’s always something to improve on, so even if the designs aren’t ready there’s still enough to work on. There hasn’t been big waits in-between or waiting for you guys as you’re busy. The support is there if you need it.
Have you faced any challenges when working on an app for many form factors (phone, tablet, desktop etc)?
The only challenge is getting the design before the toolkit components are ready. It was a case of creating custom stuff and trying to not cause myself too much pain when I have to switch. The rest has been plain sailing as they toolkit is a breeze to use, and the Design team keep me informed of any changes.
What’s the vibe like in the Community at the moment?
I speak to a fair few of them now through Telegram, that seems to be the place to talk now there’s an app for it. It’s nice you can ping your question to anyone and you’ll get an immediate response relatively quickly. Alan Pope, always gives you answers.
What are you thoughts on the Pocket Desktop?
It is exciting as it’s something different. I don’t think there’s competition, as we all have different target audiences we are reaching to. I’m really excited about where the Platform is heading.